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“Mixed feelings -- great instructor, but expensive and difficult admin staff”

Madawaska Kanu Centre
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Madawaska Kanu Centre provides personal instruction in Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing, as well as sea kayaking. Located just outside of Algonquin Park on the Madawaska River, MKC offers all the comforts of a European-style vacation resort. Classes are small, the river clean, warm & uncrowded. Two hour Family Rafting Trips for ages 2 & up! Five fun-filled kms of beautiful scenery and tumbling whitewater in the Algonquin Park area. Our skilled guides steer the raft down river as you hold-on and enjoy the adventures! Our Riverside Shop & Café has souvenirs, clothing, snacks and beverages for purchase before or after your trip. Fun for the whole family!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase
Reviewed May 13, 2012

We went for a 2-day white water canoe course. I really liked our instructor, who was patient, fun, knowledgeable. And also patient! The course set-up was ~2-2.5 hours in the canoe each morning and afternoon, starting at 9 am and ending at 4 pm with a break in the middle for lunch. The progression of skills that we learned was good, although I was a little surprised that we didn't learn more types of paddle strokes -- really just a couple that we used over and over again. Still, it worked and by the end of Day 2 we were paddling down Class II and easy III rapids. The canoes were in good shape and the van shuttle between the Kanu Centre and the river was pretty seamless. So the actual canoeing part was good.

My mixed feelings come from our dealings with the administrative staff, as well as the cost:benefit ratio... A couple of weeks before the course started, i wanted to switch to the next weekend (sudden time conflict arose at home). The staff members I communicated with were unfriendly and unhelpful; it seemed they would prefer lose the ~$700 fee altogether than waive the $60 deposit and switch us to the next weekend. I found the other staff at the centre a little entitled and obnoxious; for instance, the students watched instructional videos in the evening, but the other staff members talked and laughed all the way through despite our requests to be quieter.

Overall, I learned a lot from our instructor, but I would not go back again. If I had to do it over, I would look for something else.

4  Thank Tumbili
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 28, 2012

Thank You for your review. It is comments like yours which help us make modifications and improvements to our operations. We always love to hear the excitement and enthusiasm towards our sport of white water canoeing.

Your comments relating to staff respecting customers is a big concern. Your feedback made an impact at our staff customer service training last Monday. This was a great learning tool for our staff and we felt that it was extremely effective. Thank you for providing this honest feedback.

As we are a small operation, moving a course date is the same as canceling and re-booking, thus we need to cover our base costs. Our office team was new at the beginning of May and may not have been as courteous in their explanation of the $60 transfer or cancellation fee. This also has been reviewed.

Once again, thank you for the feedback. We appreciate all your comments and look towards improving our customer service standards.

Claudia Van Wijk

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (137)
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130 - 134 of 137 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2012

I have visited/attended MKC's white water paddling school on many occasions. It really is an ideal destination for a fun and active holiday. The rivers and paddling sites are great, with warm and varied water levels, the food and hospitality are wonderful and the company is exhilarating. There are people from all over, a variety of background's and ability levels from novice to expert. If you have the stamina the road and mountain biking in the immediate vicinity are also a treat. I would highly recommend MKC as a great choice for an active, healthy and outdoor experience!

Thank JohnnyCChelsea_QC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2012

have taken a number of courses here over the years.
Great food, great instruction, great people

1  Thank BrugalRum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2012

I teach whitewater canoeing at MKC. The place is beautiful; the food is great- classy, well-rounded and made with care, and the people are always super lovely. Staying there is definitely expensive but spending the week learning to boat in comfort and at ease is the most invigorating experience.
It allows for a deepened focus on paddling skills specifically which leads, obviously, to a deeper love for this sport.

1  Thank Stefani V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2012

This will be my 4th year attending Women's Week at MKC. Whether you go to this fantastic vacation destination for that week, or any other, you will have a terrific time.

Fantastic instruction and paddling on the Madawaska and surrounding rivers

Delicious and hearty fare after working hard on the rivers

Sauna, outdoor showers, massage therapy round out the days to a relaxing conclusion

I look forward to my return visit every year!

2  Thank A N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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